Explain emergency, Musharraf told

Pervez Musharraf

An adverse ruling may put pressure on Mr Musharraf

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has asked former president Pervez Musharraf to explain his decision in November 2007 to impose emergency rule.

The notice was issued after hours of debate in the courtroom over whether it was appropriate to make him a party to a case challenging his actions then.

He imposed emergency rule, suspended the constitution and dismissed about 60 judges after challenges to his power.

Mr Musharraf does not have to appear in person in court and can send a lawyer.

Politically sensitive

The court took the view that anybody whose actions were being discussed in a case had the right to be represented.

“This is the first time in Pakistani history that the court has taken cognisance of such action. In the past, the courts have tended to condone military takeovers,” a former chief justice of Pakistan, Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, told Dawn News TV.

The BBC’s Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says that the court apparently issued the notice to Mr Musharraf following the refusal on Tuesday by the attorney-general, who represents the government, to defend the former president’s position in the case. Continue reading

US Centcom Reveals Startling Data about Pakistan’s Role in Attacks on Afghanistan

By Shaheen Sehbai

WASHINGTON: The US Central Command (Centcom) has provided startling official data of what General Pervez Musharraf’s Pakistan did for the US in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) against Afghanistan, allowing 57,800 US air attacks from Pak soil with the Pakistan economy suffering a staggering loss of US$ 10 billion.

05/19/03: (South Asia Tribune) This is the first official estimate of losses suffered by Pakistan, given by the US military high command and analysts say these figures could now be used extensively by the anti-American political forces in Pakistan to pressurize General Pervez Musharraf and his Government to explain his Taliban U-Turn and justify what Pakistan received in return.

With the upcoming visit of General Musharraf to the White House in Washington, or to Camp David in Maryland, as some Pakistani diplomats are now trying, this data will strengthen his case for more US aid as the Afghan situation has not yet fully settled as envisaged by the US. Pakistan’s strategic and military help is still a key factor in containing the anti-US elements.

The Centcom figures are far in excess of what Pakistani Government officials and experts have been claiming, the highest claim being US$ 2-3 billion. In contrast, what the US has offered to Pakistan so far, a US$ 1 billion write-off of loans, looks like as spoon of tomato ketchup in place of a full fledged state banquet.

“This is a goldmine of political ammunition for the religious right wing forces, like the MMA, to blast the US and the Musharraf Government,” one analyst said.

These figures have been revealed in a detailed review of Pakistan’s role in the operation and are specifically mentioned under the title “Effects of Operation Enduring Freedom on Economy of Pakistan” at the US Centcom web site, a huge resource about the US and coalition activities under the Command. Continue reading

Pakistan After Musharraf

How Long Before the Military is Back at the Helm?


Pakistan’s military dictators never go quietly. Field-Marshal Ayub was removed by a three-month long popular insurrection in March 1969. General Yahya Khan destroyed Pakistan before he departed in 1972. General Zia-ul-Haq (the worst of the lot) was blown up in his military plane together with the US Ambassador in 1988. And now General Musharraf is digging his heels. There is a temporary stalemate in Pakistan. The Army is in favour of him going quietly, but is against impeachment. Washington is prepared for him to go, but quietly. And last Friday the chief of Saudi intelligence agency, Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz, had secretly arrived in Pakistan and held talks with coalition leaders and President Musharraf. He wants a ‘safe exit’ for the president. Sanctuaries in Manhattan, Texas and the Turkish island of Büyükada (Prinkipo) are being actively considered. The General would prefer a large estate in Pakistan, preferably near a golf course, but security considerations alone would make that infeasible. Continue reading